Jan 3, 2014; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Clemson Tigers wide receiver Sammy Watkins (2) reacts after scoring a touchdown against the Ohio State Buckeyes in the first half of the 2014 Orange Bowl college football game at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Browns Draft Thoughts: I hope Sammy Watkins is a smoke screen


The Cleveland Browns are one of a number of teams linked to former Clemson star wide receiver Sammy Watkins.  Tabbed as the ‘consensus’ top receiver in the draft, Watkins has been linked to the St. Louis Rams more than anyone, but has been mentioned with every team in the top 5 picks save the Jacksonville Jaguars.  Yes, even Houston has been talked about with Watkins.  I can only hope that the Browns, at least, are using Watkins interest as a smokescreen to hide their true interest.

First, Watkins is a great prospect, but in my opinion, he is not an elite prospect.  Here is the link to my full breakdown of Watkins.  For me, he is not in the conversation with players like Andre Johnson, Calvin Johnson or A.J. Green.  I thought Keenan Allen was an elite receiver last year.  I think Watkins is a tremendous second receiver, but he does not scream a player that should be taken in the top 10 to 15 picks.

And for all of the talk of him being universally regarded as the top receiver in this draft, Watkins will not be my top receiver in this class.  I like Odell Beckham from LSU better overall and for the Browns, who likely will be available to be had at 26 if the Browns insist on going with a first round receiver.  Overall, I also have Mike Evans from Texas A&M as a better receiver prospect even though he is still more raw.

But, for the sake of argument, let’s say Watkins is the best receiver.  Even if that is the case, it is still an incredibly foolish decisions for the Browns to take him with the fourth pick of the draft.  Essentially, the Browns are trying to find a third option on their offense and using the fourth pick in the draft to do it in what is being called one of the best, deepest drafts ever.  If Watkins is everything people hope he is, he jumps ahead of Jordan Cameron, who was a Pro Bowl tight end this past year and coming into his prime, but is not going to get past where Josh Gordon got to this past year, provided he can keep his head on straight.

Even with a combined 2,563 yards and 16 touchdowns on 167 catches between them, the Browns won four games.  Four.  The Browns need another wide receiver, but getting another wide receiver is going to have about the weakest impact of anything the Browns could do with that pick.  As big of a dumpster fire as the Browns offense was this past year, they threw for a combined 4,372 yards passing.  Could the Browns shoot for 5,000? Sure.  Be more efficient with it? Absolutely.  How much more can they reasonably get out of that group and how much of an investment does it really require?

The team would still be hoping they have an answer at quarterback based on just two games of tape with Brian Hoyer and even the most ardent supports of Hoyer suggest he is a game manager that might get better.  Maybe I am alone on this, but if I have that many weapons to throw the ball, I want more than a game manager.  Yes, the Browns could and hopefully would be able to get a better quarterback with the other first round pick.  Personally, I would love them to get Derek Carr as anyone who has followed me for any length of time is already aware.  However, I think he or whomever they get can function with just Gordon and Cameron and a pick later in the draft.

The other issue that the local media is painfully unaware of because they know next to nothing about the draft.  Almost to an individual, they will freely admit they watch zero tape, so asking them who they should take is a waste of time.  They have no clue just how deep the wide receiver class is this year.  For the most part, they are people trying to talk from a standpoint of being informed while staying just one lesson of the people they are trying to inform.

There are going to be star caliber players falling into the second, third, and later in the draft.  In a normal year, players like Marqise Lee would be a lock first rounder and he could still go there.  Brandin Cooks would be a lock for the first round in a lot of drafts.  Jordan Matthews should be a first rounder this year.  All three of those prospects could fall into the second round and be had at a substantial value.  There are simply too many good receivers available and not enough spots for them to all go.

Go deeper and start learning about and watching some of these second and third level prospects that are really impressive.  Shaq Evans from UCLA, Davante Adams from Fresno State, and Paul Richardson from Colorado are three great examples of players who could fall in the draft to the third or maybe even the fourth round and be a terrific value to the Browns and help them immediately.  The list of receivers who can do that goes on and on, so spending the fourth pick in the draft on a position that is so stacked is just bad value.

From a strategic standpoint, if the Browns are not going to take a quarterback with the fourth pick in the draft, get an impact player at an impact position.  Jadeveon Clowney, Khalil Mackthese are elite prospects at critical positions for the Browns.  Clowney would be almost a toy for head coach Mike Pettine considering the talent already here on the defensive line.  Line him up any number of different spots and let him go get the quarterback.

Mack is a little more nuanced.  Personally, I think he can be a terrific outside linebacker, defensive end or inside linebacker.  Considering the hybrid scheme, Mack could play inside linebacker and attack from there, but move around depending on the various looks the team wants to use.  He would not simply be drafted here, plugged in the middle and that would be it.  With a player like Mack and with players like Barkevious Mingo, Jabaal Sheard, and Paul Kruger along with the talent on the defensive line, Pettine can just find different ways to put three or even all four of them on the field at the same time to cause chaos and put pressure on the opposing team.

It could be something, it could be nothing, but Pettine did go personally to the University of Buffalo Pro Day to see Mack workout in person.  It would be really difficult to believe the Browns would take Mack to have him play as a traditional outside linebacker with all the players the Browns already have in that spot.

I am less enthralled by the idea of drafting a right tackle in Greg Robinson, but nevertheless would do that over taking Watkins.  Robinson is a bull dozer in the running game and if the Browns can kick Mitchell Schwartz inside to right guard, the hope is they could find a back later in the draft and run down people like grass.  Improving the running game would do more for this team than investing a high pick in a wide receiver and linemen are typically better investments than receivers.  Additionally, Robinson’s potential is higher relative to his position than that of Watkins in my opinion.

Lastly, for all of the elite receivers that have warranted being picked in the top 10, look at how their teams do?  Andre Johnson has been largely wasted in Houston.  Larry Fitzgerald went to the Super Bowl with Kurt Warner, but has almost fallen off the face of the Earth since he left.  Calvin Johnson has made the playoffs, but not won.  A.J. Green is a phenomenal receiver but the Bengals have not won a playoff game and Andy Dalton is holding him back.

The wide receiver by its very nature is dependent on the quarterback position to succeed.  Expecting it to work the other way around is a dangerous and tends to be an awful way to build a team.  Gordon did as admirable a job as one could last year with the unbelievable season he had.  The Browns need more wide receiver help, but they are looking for a third option.  They have Gordon, they have Cameron.  They do not need to spend the fourth pick of the draft on a receiver.

The Browns need a quarterback and they need players that can come in and make an impact without needing someone else to do it.  Watkins can only go so far with a mediocre quarterback and there are only so many balls to go around, especially when the quarterback is average.  Hopefully, the Browns are just allowing Watkins to be a smokescreen and cover up what they really want to do with the fourth pick or a team picking in front of them will take him, because it is terrible draft strategy; a poor use of resources and an extremely risky way to build a team.  Don’t do it.

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Tags: 2014 NFL Draft Cleveland Browns

  • Letterman007

    Sorry, you are wrong again ! Look what the Seahawks did with a really good defense and an OK quarterback !! Wilson is not Manning or Brady and see what happened to them this year!! Great QBs can only go so far, and other experts have said Watkins is elite and better than whatYOU think!! They can get their QB in the later rounds. Watch and see on draft day as these QB’s drop to later picks. I do agree that if Watkins is gone take Clowney or Mack, but build your offense with the balance of your higher picks!!

    • Pete Smith

      Watkins is not in the same realm as A.J. Green, Calvin Johnson, or Andre Johnson. Keenan Allen was better in my opinion. I don’t think Watkins is in the same conversation at Julio Jones, who I also did not believe was an elite prospect. Regardless, you’re still adding a third option to the offense with the 4th pick of the draft. That is awful draft management in my opinion. Meanwhile, if I can get a guy who can contribute to the defense and potentially add 8-10 or more sacks, then I going to do it all day long over a receiver.

      • Letterman007

        Not luck into a great QB. Just getting better than what we have! Question, what was the Browns biggest problem last year? Defense or offense, that’s biggest now. I’d say offense and need help there first! Made the Julio call wrong too, did ya ! The offense needs fixed first and foremost and as I said before, there are no great quarterbacks in this draft. If there were a manning or Rogers or Brady, I’d say trade the ranch to get them!! However, none of them are and there are a lot of them in the draft that are about the same. Each has pluses and minuses, but over all deep draft for QB’s !!
        Everyone can get a good QB late in the draft, as Seattle did with Wilson, pat’s with Brady,Niners with Kapernic, and Browns did with Brian Sipe!! It’s just picking the right one to fit the system your running! Or fitting the system to the QB !! Also having enough peaces around him to help him succeed ! That’s why Watkins is the best choice if he’s still there!

        • Nick

          Yes, offense was the bigger problem but it sure wasn’t the passing game. It was obviously the run game and simply adding a great RB won’t solve it alone. The OL needs one or two players. The defense has a hole at ILB that’s almost as bad. The top three needs are ILB, QB, OG, RB in that order. Notice WR isn’t even on there?

          • Letterman007

            Wide receiver isn’t there as you took it off!! Yes wide receiver is there, how come every mock has the Browns taking one in the top three picks!! Do you want to live with Little and Bess, the dropsie twins? They will get an ILB in free agency and probably another one in the draft. they will also get o-line help the same way!! As I stated before there are no quarterbacks or running backs worth first round selection in this draft, although it is very deep in backs and the Browns will probably get two, one in the second or third round and one in a late round!! The QB I already covered!! You need to realize that that is what you want not team needs or are all the other mocks and experts wrong?

        • Pete Smith

          Julio Jones is a nice player. He’s not an elite receiver in the NFL. And the trade that it took to get him has bitten the Falcons in the butt. Their offensive and defensive lines are disasters and have giant needs on both, which is why they completely fell apart last year. You’re basically advocating building the way they did, which is not working.
          They had Roddy White, Julio Jones, Tony Gonzalez, couldn’t stop anyone, couldn’t run the ball, and were outclassed by Seattle.

          And yes, you’re advocating getting lucky with quarterback, period. When you mention Russell Wilson, Tom Brady, and Brian Sipe, you might as well throw in Joe Montana in there too. You are suggesting they play the lottery, which is an incredibly bad idea, which is why it so rarely works.

          • Letterman007

            Take a look at the NFL Networks latest mock and you will see what I’m talking about! Watkins at #4, but they have Hyde at #26, which I wouldn’t do. But look who’s available, why it’s Carr or even Garropolo!! Then you have #35 to get your o-lineman, not to mention free agency! I’m telling you these QB’s will drop in the draft and I’m not alone in this thought!! You guys get caught up in these smoke screens and get crazy!! Just like everyone did about Manziel with the Brown’s!!
            Wait and see what happens in the draft?! You will see and if the QB’s start going early the Browns have enough picks to trade up and grab one if they get antsy !! Also I’m not advocating the Browns do what Atlanta did. You are getting carried away, they will keep Mack and either move Swartz to guard and get a tackle in the draft or FA. They will also get another safety and are already working on Sam Shields from Green Bay! They will also replace Jackson in the draft and FA as the draft has many good ILB in it!!! The defense will be as good if not better than last year and have an offense that will give them a brake!

  • Justin Cibik

    To say that Watkins is just ok is crazy Pete. And idk if u’ve been riding along with this QB talk with ur head in the clouds but there’s really only Bortles and Bridgewater that rate 1st round if u ask me. The only reason their stock is bloated is because a bunch of teams need QBs this year. The two QBs I mentioned aren’t even worth too 5 consideration really. But QB strapped teams will panic or smoke up the place. Don’t get me wrong, I love Odell but everyone knows Watkins is the premier guy in that class. To say other wise is just ignorant and u need to hit the tape again.

    • Pete Smith

      I never said he was just okay. I think he’s a good prospect and worth a first round pick. I think it is a massive reach to take him in the top 10-15 picks, especially given where the Browns are. And thank you, I’ve gone through the tape multiple times. I like Beckham and Evans better.

      I would be thrilled with Bridgewater, but I had a top 50 grade on Bortles. There’s a lot to like but not enough to take him that early. I have Carr as the second rated QB in the draft. You are welcome to disagree.

      • Letterman007

        The problem here, Pete, is the use of the word I. I like so and so better? I don’t think he’s worth that pick!! I doesn’t have employment from the Browns and neither do I, but I think you need to be more objective! there is no doubt that Watkins is THE BEST RECIEVER in this draft as attested to by many experts with more knowledge than you or I. .He and Gordon together would be the best tandem receiver set in the league and open up the run game immensely !!

        • Pete Smith

          I am objective. I have evaluated 26 different receivers thus far, which can all be found here http://withthefirstpick.com/scouting-reports/. I don’t evaluate them from the Browns perspective. I just evaluate them on their own merits. For me, Sammy Watkins is not the best receiver in this draft and I’m not afraid of any number of expects saying otherwise.

          Like I said, the experts had Tavon Austin and Cordarrelle Patterson as the top receivers in the draft. I had Keenan Allen and Justin Hunter. Maybe Austin and Patterson will be great, but right now, it’s Keenan Allen’s show and everyone else is just watching. So, maybe I end up wrong on it, but Watkins is not the top guy for me.

          You shouldn’t need two top receivers to open up the running game. And that is a terrible reason to use the 4th pick in the draft on your 3rd option on offense. It should not cost that much (and it doesn’t) to find a great third option that can help spread the field. And when it comes right down to it, going crazy on offense weapons does not bear out with wins.

          Even with the greatest show on turf, which may have 5 Hall of Famers just on that offense, they had a Hall of Fame quarterback in Kurt Warner. And when they took Torry Holt in the top 10, he was coming in to either complement or surpass Isaac Bruce; not be a third option.

          It is bad economics, period and it doesn’t produce wins. That’s assuming that Gordon and Watkins would be the best tandem in the league, which is anything but a guarantee. Build from the inside out, not the outside in.

          • Letterman007

            So you are saying to trade down for more picks or grab a defensive player at #4 or maybe a tackle? We have traded down before and how did that workout, not well if memory serves me!! Do you think getting Mack is a better pick? We need to fix the offense and there is NO QB worth a pick that high at #4 !!No running backs even close to get, Clowney is a situational player, a pass rusher elite, but I’ve seen him take plays and games off!! Other than Watkins, who has more value at a position of need that is really worth a pick at #4? We are past the point of trading down and giving the top players to accumulate picks!! If you like Beckham better how come his stats don’t match up with Watkins any better!?

          • Pete Smith

            Trading down didn’t work? I wish we would allocated the resources more effectively, but Phil Taylor is a good player. Frankly, I wanted Robert Quinn that year, who is far, far better than Julio Jones.

            Taking a wide receiver in the top 5 picks didn’t work out before with Braylon Edwards, so does that end the argument?

            Picking Sammy Watkins does not ‘fix’ the offense, which is part of the flawed logic here. If they did nothing else and just added Watkins, they would still have a giant question mark at quarterback and no running game.

            The list of players I would take over Watkins includes but is not limited to… Jadeveon Clowney (who is not a situational player. Are you kidding?), Khalil Mack, Teddy Bridgewater, Derek Carr, Greg Robinson, and Jake Matthews.

            You’re measuring Beckham against Watkins with stats? By that logic, Brandin Cooks, Davanate Adams and Willie Snead IV would rate higher than Watkins does.

          • Letterman007

            Nope, doesn’t end it!! First Carr is not a top 10 pick, ask the other experts, he is no way a top 10, because some teams are jumping at quarterbacks and they will almost all fall on draft day, when the smoke screen rises!! I never said picking Watkins fixes the O. there are other needs as running backs and a guard or tackle, who can be picked up in the later rounds, getting Fisher and Joekle last year didn’t do much, did it!! Wasted value!! There are no running backs worth a first round selection! Mack looked good against the Buckeyes, but looked like any other player against Baylor!! He has flaws and you need to not wear the blinders!! Robinson maybe good, but I’m thinking he’ll be gone to St. Louis! I’m really not convinced that offensive lineman are good high picks!! the Browns got Thomas and Mack in the 1st and they still own a 4 & 12 record!! I’ve seen Thomas lately have some not so good games!!
            The best bet is to get the skill player, the guy blew people away at his pro day, Watkins at #4 and do what you must to get the QB on your next pick, even trading up!! Then fill in the rest.

          • Pete Smith

            Joe Thomas is going to end up in the Hall of Fame. He is absolutely invaluable to this team. Now you’re trying to discredit him? Oy.

            I know what scouts think of Derek Carr. Some love him. Some don’t. It all depends on how much you believe in the ability to fix his feet. He and Bridgewater are the only QBs I’d take in the first round. And as a result, if I’m willing to take a QB in the first round, I’m not afraid to take them as early as needed in the first round. And if you believe reports, Ray Farmer is one of those who love Carr.

            Pro Days are incredibly overrated. As you will hear, the best Pro Day Mike Mayock ever saw was JaMarcus Russell. They are only important if a guy screws up. I couldn’t care less that Watkins was good there. He’s supposed to be.

            The best bet is the skill player? Statistically, it’s the worst bet. Top 10 wide receivers are the worst bet in the NFL Draft. They rely on another position to be successful. That’s why the list of nightmare busts is so long. They have to prove to be good and they need help to prove to be good.

          • Letterman007

            Sorry, Do Not go along with your line of thinking!! The entire offense is dependent on other people, so is the D!! You make no sense! A QB is dependent on his line for protection and receivers to catch. Running back on line men and so forth !linremen on Qb to make throws and

          • Pete Smith

            Andrew Luck seemed to do alright with almost none of those things in place. T.Y. Hilton was a 4th round pick.

            Peyton Manning has 1 1st round pick in Denver in his weapons. Only DeMaryius Thomas.

            Tom Brady has none.

            Russell Wilson did not have a ton of weapons on the outside… mostly role players with a good line and running game with a great defense.

            The Steelers, Ravens…

            The teams that win Super Bowls don’t seem to have that much invested on the outside, get the QB and develop lower picks into weapons. Build from the inside out, not the outside in.

          • Letterman007

            Is there a Manning, Luck, or Brady or any other pick in this draft that you know of? I haven’t seen one and been looking at a lot of mocks and reading a lot of articles about the players from people who are considered experts and NO ONE says that there is one here!!!You keep trying to justify what YOU think and it Doesn’t WORK!!! There maybe a Flacco there but I don’t see him and nobody else does!!
            There are some decent QB’s there, but they are the kind that need help around them and that means getting people like Watkins and a good running back and a solid line to make the move the fans want to go to the playoffs and further!! you take the skill people away as what happened in Pukesburg and Baltimoron and look what happened! Neither makes the playoffs!!

          • Pete Smith

            Personally, I believe Bridgewater has the tools to be an Aaron Rodgers type QB while Carr can be like Jay Cutler with a better head on his shoulders. You know… Cutler, the guy with the actual best set of WRs in the league; neither of which cost a 1st round pick, let alone the 4th pick in the draft.

            Baltimore lost a number of players from their defense as well as their tight end and only had Ray Rice at a fraction of himself, but yea… it was all from losing Boldin, who did not cost a first round pick either to draft him or acquire him.

            Your logic is not improving.

          • Letterman007

            Neither is yours, Cutler , lets see, I don’t remember him in a Super Bowl win or loose! I don’t remember him in an NFC championship game, winning? Did they even make the playoffs last year? The point is you have your theories and I have mine and the big problem is they differ and by the time the draft is here the Browns probably won’t do what either of us want !!! They have their own beliefs and I quite sure it won’t go your or my way!!

          • joe barrow

            There is no way Farmer takes Watkins here, too smart for that. Some of the keys to their thinking will be revealed by the FA signings. I’m betting QB at 4, WR at 26.

    • Nick

      Even if Watkins is the best to ever play, it won’t win us one more game in 2014.

      • Justin Cibik

        That’s just not an intelligent assessment at all Nick. He wouldn’t help us win 1 more game…? Do u even know football? Lol I’m not joking. Gordon on one side and Watkins on the other… Good luck defenses.

        • Nick

          I can’t think of a team that has only two WR and a decent QB that makes the playoffs. Are you assuming that all of the other pieces are put in place? If so, I could use the same logic and say we get a WR in FA and draft someone else. Having a good WR versus a great WR at #2WR will make no difference. This isn’t going to be an “air attack” offense. It’s going to be a WCO. There just won’t be that many passes to go around to make a difference.

  • Sam Gold

    This is an excellent, well thought out, well reasoned piece. Adding Mack would put us at the threshold of being a monstrous defense for years to come. As you said, taking Watkins at 4 with such a wealth of WR talent would be a foolish waste of resources. Your examples of elite WR’s chosen early and the lack of impact they’ve had on their teams winning playoff games is spot-on. Build a suffocating defense coupled with an offense with talent (of which we have some and can find more outside the top 10) and a smart QB who maximizes the “system” he’s placed within (again, elite is nice but not required, i.e. Wilson) and the wins come via the team which can be built methodically and logically rather than via a single, elite individual which is far more difficult to find, identify and secure.

    • Letterman007

      Don’t know why you think Mack is so great, yes he looked good vs. the buckeyes. but so did a lousy defense from Michigan and a bad one from Indiana!! Mack looked pedestrian, at best against Baylor!! Don’t forget he played in the MAC, even Akron won 5 games in the conference!! He’s just not that good!!

      • Sam Gold

        I’ve read through your conversations with Pete and I can’t imagine how anything I would add to the dialogue would affect your perspective if his comprehensive, fact based argument didn’t. We’ll just have to agree to disagree.

        • Letterman007

          That’s the fun of these things, He maybe correct in part of the draft and you part and me none! Or it could go the other way? We won’t know until May 10th and we all could be wrong!!

  • William M Klepper

    Balderdash, young man. Unequivocal balderdash.

    Watkins isn’t an average WR. I doubt he will be there at #4 because he has wonderful hands. You cite completed passing yards. Some how you forgot all the dropped passes since Hoyer went out. And left the Dropped Passes Yards potential out from your slanted article. Had we a real #2 WR, those yards would have garnered us more first downs, more TDs, and more wins.

    The Browns were in every game. Some of the blame for not winning goes to Chud. But, from what I saw, most of it rests heavily on the dropped passes and futile plays that relied on a double and triple teamed Gordon.

    Yes, the Browns need a good QB to fill Hoyer’s shoes down the road. But higher on our list of needs is a WR that can catch and run, like Gordon can. You speak of several other WR’s and dismiss Watkins out of hand so you can make your point, Unfortunately, you throw out the baby with the wash water.

    You speak from your opinion, as you say many times in your article; an opinion I don’t share with you. A little more about facts and less opinion would serve you well. No! You need to go back and re-write that article as if Coach Lombardi were standing and reading it over your shoulder.

    • Pete Smith

      It doesn’t get anymore black and white than this: Josh Gordon is your first option. Jordan Cameron is your second option. You are advocating using the 4th pick on this great draft to try to find the THIRD option.

      Bad math, bad logic, terrible draft management and an awful way to build a football team. And if the Browns struggle at quarterback again this year, they can’t even get enough use out of that third option so the pick is that much worse.

      That’s in a vacuum. Doesn’t get any simpler than that.

      • James

        Peter I agree with u about not taking a wr with the 4th pick. Right now the Browns need an inside linebacker more then a qb. We haven’t had a game changer in that position since Clay Matthew. My opinion we need to Improve the run more then drafting a wr with the 4th pick. Drafting a tackle for the right side would be a better value. Think of the Patriots game or the game with Jacksonville a better run game would have won that game.

      • Ryan M. Feinman

        All I have to say is that nobody in Detroit would say that pairing Watkins with Megatron would be bad math, bad logic and terrible draft management. Look at all the picks the Browns have??? Why not draft Watkins and have potentially the most dangerous pair of WRs the NFL has ever seen? Your obviously just a writer and not a true Browns fan. I wont even get into why Clowney and Robinson are horrible picks at number 4 overall but I think I can speak for all Browns fans when I see that Im sick of the same lack luster Browns that are just about as boring as your name. Watkins and Gordon would bring that fire to Cleveland.

        • Sam Gold

          You can not and do not speak for all Browns fans.

          • Ayrton Carson

            I would have to believe that most people are aware that Ryan doesn’t speak for every Browns fan worldwide. You can even take it a step farther and say that most people know that would apply to every person on Earth.

          • Sam Gold

            Well, since he felt the need to state that he speaks for all Brown’s fans I felt the need to correct his misperception. I’m grateful to you for pointing out the obvious.

          • Ayrton Carson

            It was meant as a joke not a criticism. Sorry if I didn’t make that clear.

          • Sam Gold

            Got it. They should have a special sarcasm font or something. Apologies from this end as well.

        • Nick

          Not the best by far. Just slightly, maybe. There are seven WRs projected to go in round one. Some analysts are even saying Evans goes before Watkins. Get over your man-crush and watch some tape.

          • Ryan M. Feinman

            Ive watched tape but as far as speed, strength, and work ethic goes he has the total package. I’ve yet to see one analyst put Evans before Watkins. He’s a great receiver and the only other receiver that in my opinion possesses all of those traits as well. Still think Watkins has better speed and a better ability to make plays after the catch

          • Pete Smith

            Last year, people had Tavon Austin and Cordarelle Patterson at the top of the WR rankings. I had Keenan Allen and Justin Hunter. I’m an analyst and I don’t care if they have Watkins ranked #1. 1st round caliber receiver? Absolutely. Elite receiver? No. The best WR in the draft? Not for me.

          • William M Klepper

            Adams or Benjamin better?

          • Pete Smith

            Benjamin has more upside as he is a freaky athlete, but I have a lot of questions about his background. The high school stuff is really sketchy. I have Benjamin ranked ahead of Adams though.

          • William M Klepper

            Concur. Then Carr vs Metzenberger in 3rd I like Metz because he is more a young Big Ben type although he has character issues.. To me, it’s OK to sit a 3rd rnd pick.

          • William M Klepper

            I don’t advocate for just Watkins, I advocate for the best WR in draft

        • Pete Smith

          The Lions would be drafting Watkins to be their 2nd option, not their 3rd. They also pick 10th as opposed to 4th. And they have a quarterback. Those are jut 3 of the things that are wrong about this post.
          Potentially the most dangerous pair of wide receivers ever? Ever? Hyperbole is fun.

          • William M Klepper

            It would be their #3 because they don’t have a clear #2 WR choice. Think of it as a #2 in front of the TE which should be the #3

        • joe barrow

          Boy this love affair with Watkins at 4 is bizarre!!! This draft is loaded with great talent at wr, why would you pass up so many impact plyrs at positions of need (qb, offensive line, linebacker) to draft what will be your No.2 wr! Grab Edelman or Decker in free agency and use the fourth pick on the qb you like, or Clowney, Mack or Robinson.

      • William M Klepper

        Already played that song this past year and it didn’t do anything for me then, nor its replay now. Fact is, without that THIRD “reliable” option on the field, there is little chance the song will change this year. Throughout the NFL it take 4 “options” to threaten a defense. One over the top can be double teamed easily unless that is an exceptional WR. Two on top and two down low? Maybe not so easy. 2 – WR 1 – TE 1 – RB Last year, what was missing was that reliable #2 WR Still, the Browns were winning in games with Hoyer, and close with Campbell. Hoyer is healthy this year and I hope will learn how to slide,

        Pettine knows Hoyer can make the throws. He had one hell-of-a-time trying to prevent him from doing so when in Buffalo. So, I don’t see a glaring need to waste a #4 on a non-weapon (QB on the bench) incapable of putting points on the big board. And THAT is the real “Black and White” picture in the NFL. (Didn’t like being called son, did ya?)

        You speak with such certainty that you forget that we have FA signings that will put a new face on our draft needs. Let’s wait until then, when all our FA are signed, to see what the Browns should do. Then, resubmit your take again and we’ll revisit this.

  • Brisco Brown

    It better be a smokescreen. Why would you take a WR #4 in a draft this deep when we have such glaring needs at other positions. Mack , Robinson or trade down for Mosley and go from there. Carr and Garapollo will still be on the board or at least Garapollo who I actually like just as much. A solid #2 WR like Matthews or Robinson will easily be available in that range. Might even get lucky if Marquis Lee or Beckham or even Benjamin slides out of the first round. Makes no sense taking Watkins. Unless they are hoping that somehow the other teams go into a feeding frenzy on receivers but even at that you still miss out on the elite talents like Mack Clowney and Mosley. I think somehow people have forgotten that we currently have NO starting MLB! That is waaaaay more important then a 3RD WR threat and why would you fill such a pivitol hole with a 2nd round talent when you could fill it with arguably the best player in the draft

  • Nick

    Perhaps the single most intelligent article written here. For those that think otherwise, learn football. Bottom line, adding another star receiver will not win us one single game in 2014. It doesn’t work that way. The run game is priority #1. Shanahan and Pettine have both commented as much. Combine that with a great defense and you can make the playoffs. The formula has won time and time again.

    • joe barrow

      agree 100%

  • bengarver

    Brandon Weeden is as good as Derek Carr. Have you ever watched him throw a football? Back foot thrower almost 0 mobility and let everyone know were ball is going.

    • Pete Smith

      Ah, yes. Derek Carr has zero mobility, except when he is running and looks good doing it. His 40 time was virtually identical to Johnny Manziel’s at the combine. Carr is an incredible athlete and Weeden is nowhere near him in ability to throw the football.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      • William M Klepper

        Oh, I get it. Tongue-in-cheek. As for Weeds. he can’t think fast enough to make all the reads needed in a high pressure game. Yes, he can make the throws, but often they are the wrong throw, not seeing the open receiver. He isn’t fast enough inside the helmet come game time crunch. Sorry, Weeden fans, but it’s true. Pete, do you think that is true for Carr?

  • bengarver

    This guy must be in love with Johnny football. Love to see Watkins in NFL MAKE HIM SOUND THIS OUT OF TOUCH. one of the best chris carter like receivers I have watched. The fact that you would have 3 standout receivers would make defense tough on any team to say the least

  • Brian Fitzpatrick

    I live 15 miles from Clemson U and I am not even a FAN of them but you are full of crap about Watkins. I have watched him become an integral part of the Clemson family and I personally have HIM 4 and Tajh Boyd as our QB in round 2 and maybe a right tackle or Defensive player with the second pick. To me you get a QB and WR with 3 years experience together WHY DOES NO ONE DO THIS IN THE NFL??? Or better why WOULDN’T THEY? I cant help but wonder is Brandon Weeden would have had a little better time had we taken his number 1 WR pot smoker or not its an interesting thought. I would also like Carlos Hyde in round 3 if he is there. WOW my draft is pretty good in my opinion considering what we need to fill on our team. I really Like Jadaveon Clowney too but there are many things we could get at 4 that would make me happy. HECK you could take a Tackle like OH Hall of Fame son Jake Matthews hmmmm his cousin sure doesnt suck in Green Bay seems like that family can play football eh?

    • Pete Smith

      Yea, you can have Tajh Boyd. Round 2 would be a substantial reach. There are some arguing if he should even be drafted.

      Justin Blackmon and Brandon Weeden? Great idea. By the way, Blackmon’s issues have been with alcohol; not marijuana.

  • bengarver

    Mobility is not speed has a lot to do with pocket sense and awareness. He’s not even as good as his brother currently is

  • Craig Barker

    The more I watch Mack the more I wouldnt mind drafting him. I bet we could play him at ILB in a 3-4. I think its more important to get an elite talent than it is to reach for a position. Mack, Watkins, Robinson, I think you have to get one. I also think Gilbert is going to be elite.

  • Charlie Peterson

    Just a thought, the Brown MUST get quality starters from their first three draft picks and quality back-up from the next three, and fill in depth with the remaining picks. If Gordon get hurt or any extended period of time, I rather have a high draft choice stepping up rather than a 5th round pick. The Brown have to address their O-line because the OC likes zone blocking and I’m not sure if the two free agent guards are suited for this type of scheme and he must upgrade in either case. The Browns should look to move back if they can and pick up their QB of choice and a decent sized CB with speed and hip movement among their first 4 picks.

  • joe barrow

    Best analysis of the Browns upcoming draft I’ve seen thus far. Agree 100%!!!